Sunday, October 21, 2007

Defending the Wrong Person (Pt 2)

Continued from In Defense of the Wrong Man, Alex Josey's The David Marshall Trials (Singapore: Times Books International, 1981)...

Alf Bellows had a great deal of power.He could make life miserable for the villagers by ruthlessly and unnecessarily applying all the appropriate emergency regulations. He was not corrupt: he was a drunken bully who enjoyed making people unhappy.

All the villagers hoped the communists would kill him. He had been shot at once coming to the village on an inspection visit, but he'd driven straight through the ambush and had arrived at the village, much to the disappointment of the villagers, unscathed.

That hot afternoon, Ballows had got very drunk. He always brought his own whiskey and drank it in the coffee shop. He was in his mid-thirties, and fat. He had a pig-like face, florid with sun and drink, small, bright blue eyes, heavy eyebrows. A fat nose spread across his face, and a thick moustache failed to hide thin, sneering lips.

He was an unpleasant person.To the Chinese he stank of unwashed sweat. He always found fault. The wire fence surrounding the village was not looked after properly. Ah Tong's reserve of rice was in excess of what was permissable; he was illegally keeping kerosine and rice in the same store. Bellows threatened to burn the store down if he found rice and kerosine together next time he came.


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